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City politician charged afresh with graft

A politician has been charged afresh with embezzlement Sh43million from the Kasarani constituency development fund (CDF).

Elizabeth Ongoro, a former Kasarani lawmaker, was charged alongside her husband Ferdinand Masha Kenga before Milimani anti-corruption court senior principal magistrate Peter Ooko for allegedly embezzling money earmarked for the construction of Kasarani Girls High School.

The couple was charged alongside eight others.

They are alleged to have committed the offence between May, 2008 and December 31, 2012 within Nairobi County.

The accused are Ongoro, Kenga, James Dola, Silvan Onyango, Pamela Achola, William Ogutu of Nyangina Enterprises, Maurice Odhiambo of Komala Constructions, Jecinta Opondi and Accurate Construction and Engineering Works Limited

The magistrate was urged to retain previous bond terms.

The cash bail of Sh3million cash bail was retained for each of the accused persons.

The accused were charged afresh after the trial court allowed the prosecution to adduce more evidence and call seven more witnesses in the case.

The magistrate said after analyzing submissions from the prosecution and objection by defence, he found the application of presenting further testimony and calling more witnesses meritorious.

“I find the DPP’s application to produce more evidence and present a fresh charge against the suspects is merited and l accordingly allow it as prayed,” the magistrate ruled.

He directed the prosecution to supply the accused and defence team with copies of new evidence.

In the application, the DPP had told the trial magistrate he wanted to add new documents and seven more witnesses, then amend the charge sheet as evidence in his quest to prove the graft case against all the accused.

The prosecution argued the new development was occasioned by the unearthing of new documents by the investigating officer which had not been obtained or were in the process of being acquired by the time the case commenced.

The fresh evidence is now in their custody.

He said the new documents will assist the prosecution to prove the case against the accused.

“The documents are crucial, relevant and substantial for the just and fair determination of the case,” the prosecutor said.

He said the amendment of the charge sheet is lawful and will not prejudice the rights of the accused.

He said the additional documentary evidence include letters to the Auditor General and Chief land registrar dated January 2018.

Others are letters to Registrar of companies, senior chief Mathare North location, sub-county director of Education, CEO National CDF board dated August 2019, and letter from Ministry of Education.

The court heard that when the evidence was reviewed, it became necessary to have the charge sheet amended and remove some accused persons.

The case will be heard on June 27.